Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Tutor Trenches; Necessary Introductions & Retarded Ostriches

<3 Welcome~! <3
Language Disclaimer: If you're easily offended by stupid jokes or offensive language, kindly go on your way.

It can be hard to find a “nice way” of telling someone that you want to burn their paper and break the hands that wrote it.  I often sit, recalling the ever-present words of my boss: “Be sure to say something nice; you know, for encouragement-!” But somehow, it falls on the deaf ears of someone who grew up loving books and writing a various number of things. Because SOMEONE had to let this student out of kindergarten without being able to spell brick, and SOMEONE told them that they did a “passable” job on that essay, and that they totally deserve this grade because I never want to see your stupid face ever again, because the next time I do, I might very well shoot myself and drag you straight into whatever fecal-ridden Hell awaits me.

This is what one might call dishonest tutoring. I call it a living. I also call it happy hour, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to tell someone that they did a “good job” on that essay without being shitfaced enough to wonder why I can’t feel my eyelids. Because regardless of the alcohol, I’ll probably be vomiting later anyway, so I might as well have a reason with some kind of aforementioned positive.

Where I come from, English is a second language, and Ebonics is as close as you can get to a primary one. If you don’t speak Ebonics, you probably should run in any other direction until you stop seeing signs that say “Memphis”. At that point, you certainly won’t be safe, but you will certainly not be here and therefore on the better end of the eventual coin flip on whether or not to drink the funny blue cool-aid in the garage. Don’t get me wrong: I love Memphis. Here, there is music, the occasional good person, and you can even make toast. But not in May, which is the month of perpetual rain. It will then be soggy toast, and nobody likes soggy toast.

On a strange aside, I wonder if the Mississippi River is annually taking revenge on all those music loving bastards during the month of May, as one should usually take either a boat or a snorkeler depending on the number of people one might bring to see the annual concert(s) here. Or maybe it’s God trying to create a new flood, steadily building a workable scientific basis to continue being a constant question to scientists, and all the while he, Buddha, and Thor get wasted and bet on who can kill more Jews.

There is one thing I do dislike however, and that is the product of the local educational facilities. Specifically in the area of reading and writing. I have no idea if this is a widespread phenomenon, but if it is, I’d prefer if you told me at a later date, because I’m really not looking forward to building a nuclear device in my garage to free as many of us as humanly possible. But I do know that the number of times I see college papers that might have been written by a retarded ostrich is, to be quite frank, somewhat disturbing. Because God only knows what a smart ostrich can do, I mean fuck.

Why does this happen, I often ask myself. HOW does this happen? Are we living in a society where it’s acceptable to write on a 5th grade level and pass High school? Will college students have this problem later, and thus be forced to write super-doctorate work where one must endure twelve years of hard physical labor under brutal raptor overlords to get to a college level in writing? I often wonder why some people might opt out of tutoring. Then again, some of my co-workers are so sick of it that they just make fifty individual comments on shitty work and move on to the next assignment, not bothering to help the student build the tools necessary to fix their own work. I mean, I get it, because trying to save the academic careers of some students is like trying to get a toaster to make Subway. A whole fucking Subway, cheapskate Indian owner and all.

Thus, I’d like to welcome you to my world. The world of Tutoring in Memphis, or what currently has a “working title” of The Tutor Trenches. Why the trenches? Because some days, I sit in the bottom of the mud pit and wonder why I ever leave, as I see someone walk away with a song in their heart and something new that I taught them, with which they are quite happy. Other times, I wonder when Robert’s guts fell out, or what shade of beige I should paint Charlie’s skull with today. While some might call that crazy, I call it Stockholm syndrome, wherein I am the prisoner, and every new sentence with two misspelled words, a double negative, and a repetitive statement that could probably be omitted anyway is just another poisonous scorpion gently flung onto my naked, sweaty body: At some point, you've got to learn to enjoy the pain.

The Tutor Trenches is written by Naniar; It runs on Saturday nights, and will until the boss(es) decide to fire him for public drunkenness.

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